Why Has Former UK PM David Cameron Returned To The Political Forefront Thanks To Rishi Sunak?

Khabar Lekh
9 Min Read

Rishi Sunak, who took over as the English state leader just over a year ago, has tried to bring calm to the unstable administration he took over.

The monetary policies of his ancestor Liz Support had caused the pound to fall to its lowest point versus the dollar in many years. There was a twofold digit expansion. Finance charges were going up. In addition, the Moderate Party he was leading was trying to recover from the turmoil of Boris Johnson’s popularity prior to Support, which ended in humiliation, outrage from the public, and dismal poll results.

David Cameron

Despite trying to keep things afloat, Rishi Sunak has struggled to provide an engaging account of his political personality and the traditionalism movement in which he fits in.

All of that may have changed on Monday when Rishi Sunak unexpectedly named former prime minister David Cameron as his new foreign secretary, shocking the Westminster elite. He took this action subsequent to firing home secretary Suella Braverman, a fervent right-wing politician who had lately referred to pro-Palestinian protests as “hate marches” and labeled homelessness as a “lifestyle choice.”

Naturally, the reason David Cameron is most well-known is that he was the prime minister behind the 2016 Brexit referendum. His leadership of the push to stay in the European Union came from the very center of the Conservative Party. After the surprise decision by the UK to leave the EU, David Cameron resigned on the morning of the election, igniting seven years of divisive politics among Conservatives over Brexit and, to some extent, the party’s essence.

Almost quickly, David Cameron’s centrist liberal Conservatism which supported social change, the environment, and the arts was completely abandoned, creating a huge opening for right-wing figures like Braverman to turn the party completely their way.

It was widely believed that Rishi Sunak was too weak to fire Braverman, despite the fact that she had been vocal about contentious matters for months and, most people agree, had been setting the stage for her to succeed him in the event that he lost the next election.

Many also thought that the main reasons Braverman was kept in a prominent cabinet position were party management and pandering to the right of his party, which secretly thought Rishi Sunak was a closet liberal.

David Cameron

To those who criticize Rishi Sunak, the appointment of David Cameron and the firing of Braverman may indicate that Sunak is finally displaying his true colors and aligning himself with the moderates, thereby removing himself from the culture wars and brazen abuse of Johnson, Truss, and Braverman.

David Cameron Foreign Secretary

Repositioning his government to the center may make sense given the dire polling for the Conservatives and the public’s general dissatisfaction with turbulent politics.

However, he will have to make peace with his own party, which won’t be simple given the numerous factions that still exist among Conservative MPs, members, and voters.

Some believe that Johnson’s populist, culture war politics have already cost the Conservatives the next election, and they are eager to remove him from office. There are others who support low taxes. There is a faction within the party on the right that supports taking a tough stance against immigrants and criminals. The moderates, who believe that the public is tired of the Conservative psychodrama and wants to return to responsible governance, are located on the left side of the party.

Over the past year, Rishi Sunak has attempted to embody all of these qualities to some extent while also presenting himself as a change agent unconstrained by the previous 13 years of Conservative rule, during which he served as finance minister.

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He only blasted the previous “30 years of a political system that incentivizes the easy decision, not the right one” at the Conservative annual conference last month.

In that speech, Rishi Sunak supported the imposition of harsher penalties for offenders, defended reversing the UK’s green transition, made disparaging remarks about the rights of transgender people, and enthusiastically supported Braverman’s plans to deport refugees to Rwanda—a move that has been blocked by British courts. How a move to the center and David Cameron fit into all of this is a little unclear. Ultimately, he was among the numerous former leaders that Sunak has attempted to disassociate himself from.

David Cameron Has a Great Deal of Baggage.

First, there is Brexit, which his detractors claim he permitted to occur by organizing the referendum, persuading other world leaders that the remain side would prevail, and then promptly resigning after the result was in. He has not been forgiven for this by many in British politics.

In a recent scandal involving lobbying, he personally persuaded Rishi Sunak, Johnson’s finance minister at the time, to obtain government funding in order to keep the financial services company he worked for from failing during the Covid-19 pandemic. His appeals were turned down.

David Cameron

He is considered the enemy by some party members on the right. David Cameron was a modernizer before rising to the position of PM in 2010 and party leader in 2005.

He made the suggestion in a speech shortly after taking over as party leader in 2006 that young people who wear hoodies should be loved more rather than feared. In an attempt to demonstrate his green credentials, he was also seen cuddling huskies.

He ruled in coalition with the moderate, pro-European Liberal Democrats from 2010 to 2015. David Cameron was seen by many of his more right-wing MPs as being more at home with the Liberal Democrats than with the true Conservatives.

David Cameron‘s appointment, according to some Conservatives, is a smart move since it demonstrates the party’s readiness to act responsibly and maturely once more. However, one cabinet minister told CNN that the party is completely out of ideas, so they’re likely to be in the minority.

Over the next few days, observers will continue to ask more questions about the appointment as they look for any indications of a centrist turn or significant changes in government policy. It is difficult to even begin to imagine how Rishi Sunak could pull that off, as his official policy agenda for the upcoming year which includes a number of right-wing positions was only unveiled in parliament last week. In a similar vein, Rishi Sunak wasn’t exactly in the right before this. When he hadn’t been convincingly one or the other before, he couldn’t suddenly change his mind.

David Cameron

However, as the election which is almost certain to occur sometime in the upcoming year—approaches, it’s possible that the minutiae of governance become less significant. Perhaps this is more of a general mood shift: appointing a steady hand to show voters that he is stable while retaining more radical policies in the manifesto to appease his Conservative detractors.

Regardless of the real reason for Rishi Sunak’s unconventional reorganization of his senior leadership team, it won’t be long before it affects his political destiny. There’s an impending election and his party is still far, far behind in the polls.

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